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Listen and Write: Teaching Coffee Farmers about the Birds and the Bees

Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required


Website Example:

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Computer(s), Internet access, projector, speakers and/or headphones

Activity Description

Students can be assigned to use this free Web site for practicing listening skills with dictation exercises about current events. There are several levels, although the site is most suited to intermediate through advanced ESL learners. Students can additionally improve their typing by increasing their words per minute.


  1. Make sure that the Web site is not blocked at your school before having students use the site.
  2. If the site is not intuitive to you, watch the demo video before you get started.
  3. Find exercises appropriate for use in your class by searching by level, among the YouTube video exercises, from the categories, or by checking the most popular.


  1. After choosing a dictation activity based on an article that fits with your course topics and learning objectives, demonstrate for students how to find the exercise, post the link on a class Web page, or e-mail it to students.
  2. Demonstrate how to do the exercise.
  3. Decide which mode you would like students to use:
    • Full Mode - Listen to entire text and type it or listen to it broken up into segments.
    • Quick Mode - type only the first letter of each word you hear.
    • Blank Mode - user can choose the number of words deleted to create a listening cloze exercise.

Teacher Tips

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  • To create one’s own audio exercise based on any text or YouTube video you choose (and have the option of creating a group and a channel for your class), you will need to sign up for an account. You must add a transcript for videos. After signing in, select “Submit a New Audio.” From there, you have three options:
    1. Upload an mp3 audio file created yourself for the text.
    2. Link to an external mp3 file you locate online
    3. Submit video from YouTube and include a transcript.


  • Intermediate Low
  • Intermediate High
  • Advanced
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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN200091-A2 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.